Strawberry picker Gurman Dhillon searches for ripe strawberries amongst numerous green undersized berries at a field owned by Surrey Farms near King George Blvd and Colebrook Road.

Strawberry picker Gurman Dhillon searches for ripe strawberries amongst numerous green undersized berries at a field owned by Surrey Farms near King George Blvd and Colebrook Road.

Cold wet spring was one to forget in Metro Vancouver

Berry growers, garden centres feel the pain from chilly, damp weather

Good riddance to a stingy, soggy spring.

That’s what sun worshippers, farmers and garden centre operators are all saying after months of unseasonably cool weather.

The strawberry harvest is finally getting underway but it’s at least 10 days behind schedule, making it the latest start in 30 years.

“Normally you can expect a booming harvest by Father’s Day,” said Sharmin Gamiet, manager of the Fraser Valley Strawberry Growers’ Association.

“But it’s been cold and it’s been wet. It has been a challenging season.”

The delay has made farmers nervous – many lost crops last fall when heavy rains kept them from getting their root vegetables out of the ground.

But Gamiet said the strawberry crop should be good provided plants don’t get shocked by hot weather too quickly.

Leanne Johnson, the chief operating officer for GardenWorks, said all garden centres have been hard hit by the dismal planting weather.

“It’s been the coldest wettest spring in 55 years,” she said.

It was so cold and wet early in the spring few people wanted to think about planting, she said.

And later on, the Vancouver Canucks playoff run began to compete for attention, keeping would-be gardeners’ eyes on their TVs and their hands out of the soil.

“It’s been really tough,” Johnson said, predicting many gardeners simply won’t spend as much this year.

“A lot of people are resigned to it being a lousy spring and they’re just not going to put the same kind of effort in as usual.”

Environment Canada meteorologist David Jones said Metro Vancouver got 95 millimetres of rain in April and 92 mm in May – that’s about 25 per cent more overall than the averages of 84 mm for a typical April and 68 mm for May.

“It was cloudier, wetter and a lot cooler for two solid months,” he said. “April and May were very cold.”

Much of the Fraser Valley even got snow on April 14.

But he said Metro residents who think it’s stayed bad this month are stuck in the past.

“Since June started it’s been not bad,” Jones said, calling it near-average with temperatures running only very slightly below normal.

Just Posted

Chilliwack’s Jordyn Huitema, a member of the Canadian national women’s soccer squad.
Another scoreless draw for Chilliwack’s Jordyn Huitema and Canadian national women’s soccer squad

Canada played Brazil to a 0-0 tie days after doing the same in a friendly against the Czech Republic

FVRD surveyed public opinion on cannabis production and processing in the electoral areas. Odour and distance from residential areas were the top concerns. (Black Press file)
Cannabis production and processing rules being drafted by Fraser Valley Regional District

Data from public opinion survey will be used to guide cannabis-related land use

Robert Nelson, 35, died after being stabbed at a homeless camp in Abbotsford on April 7 of this year.
Mom pleads for information about son’s killing at Abbotsford homeless camp

Robert Nelson, 35, described as ‘man who stood for justice, honour, respect’

Police arrest the suspect in an attempted armed bank robbery on June 2 at the Scotiabank at Gladwin Road and South Fraser Way in Abbotsford. (Photo by Garry Amyot)
Abbotsford bank robbery suspect who was stopped by customers faces more charges

Neil Simpson now faces total of eight charges, up from the initial two

Black Press file photo.
COVID exposure recorded at Kent Elementary

Students, families encouraged to keep monitoring for symptoms

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

Most Read